Bridgend Council sets out plans to provide support for child asylum seekers

By Lewis Smith

Plans to provide care and accommodation for unaccompanied asylum seeking children have been put in place in Bridgend County Borough this month, after the council’s cabinet granted approvals for modifications to be made to an existing care contract.

The move comes in response to the mandated National Transfer Scheme, where The Home Office operates a rota system, which requires local authorities to ‘take it in turns’ to accept asylum seeking children into their care.

The Cwm Taf Morgannwg region currently has an allocation for 91 unaccompanied children, 29 of which are based across the borough of Bridgend.

The council has successfully placed six children so far, using supported accommodation and independent foster agencies, though placements are said to be limited, with supported accommodation provided by Dewis Ltd.

The current supported accommodation contract in place with Dewis Ltd only allowed for a 10% change in the value of the contract however, eventhough the requirements of the mandatory scheme will require a change of 36%.

This approval will now allow this change to be put into place, with two more children expected to be placed into the care of Bridgend County Borough Council between January and March of 2023.

Councillor Jane Gebbie, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help said: “It’s really important that we do all we can to make sure unaccompanied child asylum seekers receive all the support that they both need and deserve in Bridgend County Borough. The contractual modifications will play a vital role in making sure that the children receive support that meets their individual needs.”

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